Surprise! The mirror fell off the wall. Now what?

lotsofkidsJune 16, 2014

My husband flew home last night to get back to work (the kids and I are visiting my parents for a little bit longer) and when he walked in he saw that the giant mirror above our master vanity had fallen off the wall and shattered everywhere. It was just plain glass that we were actually going to have framed this week (along with all the other bathroom mirrors) bc we have been finishing the basement, and the painters are coming, so I was going to have them paint the frame pieces while they are here.

So now do I:
A. Just buy a new piece of glass and continue with our plan to frame it?
B. Buy a gigantic framed mirror?
C. Buy two smaller framed mirrors? If I buy two, what size? Our vanity is 6 feet long.

I've never had to buy a bathroom mirror before. I have no idea what to do, and I'm in such a time crunch bc the painters come Wednesday. I have to figure this out fast. We have a custom home that we've been upgrading since we moved in. The mirrors were one of the few things the original owners seemed to have skimped on at the end (when people who build homes are out of money) and wanted to upgrade anyway. I don't want to spend a fortune, but I do want it to look nice. Thanks for any input.

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A picture would help us offer advice :)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 3:27PM
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I'd worry that the other bathroom mirrors were attached in the same way and might also fall and break ... while one of the kids was standing at the vanity. I would have a mirror shop check the remaining mirrors and add clips/anchors if they are not mounted properly. I wouldn't frame any of them until I know they aren't going to come crashing down.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:17PM
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Whoa! That must have been an unpleasant homecoming surprise. Good thing no one was hurt. I hope nothing it fell on was damaged. Was it a plain mirror? Was it attached with J-channel and clips or glued on the wall? I agree with Chispa to make sure whatever replacement you put up there needs to be really secure.

Does your vanity have one or two sinks? I think two smaller mirrors are easier to find than one large framed mirror. They can be very pricey. I needed one large mirror (30x48) and found it at Crate & Barrel. It isn't hung yet, but it needs to be into studs or well anchored.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:25PM
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Have your painters remove any mastic that may have been used to adhere the mirror then prime and paint the walls as if no mirror was going back up. This will give you the time you need to make your decisions.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Not sure if your lighting is in yet, but often times the size, scale, or number of mirrors can be influenced by the lighting fixtures in the room.

Also depends on the use of the mirror. If simple illumination where flattery is not a concern, have at it with location. If for makeup, etc, then sometimes side lighting can be better then illumination from overhead. A more even cast of light,fewer shadows, etc.

Also do a little bathroom forensics to see why the mirror fell. Did the mastic peel the paper off of the drywall? Did the mastic simply creep? Did the mastic remain on the wall and separate off of the mirror?

Could be too much weight, or too little mastic. Could be insufficient curing time allowed for the mastic. Etc, etc.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:49PM
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You're right, a picture would help. I'll ask my husband to take a picture of it when he gets home. I honestly can't even remember what the lighting looks like. Isn't that awful? We've lived in that house 3 years. I do know my vanity has 2 sinks :) The only thing we've done in that bathroom is replace the countertop. The guy who lived there did custom concrete for a living, but the kind he did in our kitchen and bathrooms was the kind that is like a veneer, and it was cracked. In the kitchen it was peeling up. When we replaced it in the kitchen with granite, we went ahead and did all the bathroom counter tops in granite as well. I would completely redo that bathroom if I could, but after what we've spent on the basement, and various other changes, it just isn't a priority to put out more cash.

It is my bathroom mirror, so I use it for makeup, etc. I want something pretty. I've been looking online a little, and I can't even find a framed mirror that big. And if I did, I'm sure it would cost a fortune and the shipping cost on top of that would be horrendous. So maybe A and C are my best options?

I'm also worried about the other mirrors falling. My contractor was over there today and told me they should have used 3 times as much mastic as they did. It completely came away from the wall. I will have him check the other mirrors.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 8:27PM
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Fori is not pleased

Do have the wall fixed up as though it were to be mirrorless like Treb suggests (and have your other mirrors secured properly). Then take your time, get some photos, and perhaps visit the home decorating forum. Take this as an opportunity to get the perfect mirror that you didn't even know you needed!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:35PM
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Here is a picture of the blank wall where the glass fell. There is no way I can do 2 mirrors with that light fixture. It's ugly, but I don't want to bother with getting two fixtures. I'm so ready to be done with construction and making choices. I'm just DONE. And it's still not over. I may just have them put up new glass and proceed with our original plan to have our contractor frame it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:25PM
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since you have two sinks, go with two framed mirrors totaling the size of the area the original one covered.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:38PM
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I don't think framed mirrors will work very well since both sinks are very close to the edge of the vanity.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:59PM
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There are worse things than frameless mirrors. Get as big a beveled mirror as you can get for that space and make sure it's glued really well to the wall.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:42PM
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Looking at your photo, I'd say that there was insufficient adhesive used and the installer may even not have used proper mirror adhesive. Remove the blobs from the wall and have someone who knows what he is doing attach another mirror. I had a bathroom mirror that size which was attached to the wall properly 35 years ago and it's still securely in place.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:48PM
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Linelle, I have a frameless mirror and it's not even beveled! We had gorgeous framed mirrors I. Our previous home, but they wouldn't work in this much smaller bathroom.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:13PM
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SJ, if I hadn't found my mirror at C&B at the 11th hour, I would have gone with another frameless one. Anything would have been better than the awful frame I had made.

To the OP, my glass shop said their glue would insure that the mirror stayed in place, that removing it would probably seriously damage the sheetrock.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:32PM
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my glass shop said their glue would insure that the mirror stayed in place, that removing it would probably seriously damage the sheetrock.

We had a full wall of mirror in our old house. When we removed it after 20 years, it totally tore apart the sheetrock behind it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:39PM
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Well, new builts in my area in the 2mio+ range are going back to frameless mirrors.

3.2 mio

5 mio

(BTW, little style incongruence with the French chateau glazed cabinets, claw tub, and the modern glass mosaic shower tiles.)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 11:30AM
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Personally, I think frameless mirrors can be awesome, esp. big ones. Kinda like an infinity pool. Not everything needs a border around it.

That being said, I caved and am going with a framed mirror which hasn't yet been hung so I don't know whether I'll like it or not. Since the money's all been spent, I will do whatever it takes to like it. :) But it's good to know that houses 10x what mine is worth find frameless mirrors acceptable.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:37PM
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I always default to framed and was ready to say so but seeing your photo, have to agree think unframed would work better.

As mentioned with sinks so close to edge, think narrow space between outer edge of sink and end of counter will look far better if above them was mirror rather than it being the outer frame.

Also think framed creates a defining balance and that would work against the backsplash along one side of sink.

Also think sinks towards edges works against double mirrors which look best centered over the sink since in your case that would make them mirrors narrow. If sinks were closer to center, that would allow for wider double mirrors.. If you stay with framed, I'd stick with single and flush to the very edges so frames side edges arent close to being above the sinks.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 11:24PM
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I would go big/frameless, but I never did like bathroom mirrors in frames. They're never in the right spot / size for whatever reason, it seems.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:27AM
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I'm taking the leap and going with a framed mirror. I hope it will be the right size/spot. I've been without a mirror in the bathroom for 4 weeks so anything's better than a blank wall.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:38AM
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